At Stringr, we encourage you to shoot with a tripod, however on some shoots you may not have a tripod or cannot set up your shot, leaving you to shoot hand held. When you find yourself in this situation, there are a few tips and techniques that can help you capture steady shots.
One of the quickest ways to stabilize hand held shots is by positioning your body correctly. Start by standing with your legs shoulder width apart and slightly bending them. This gives your body a sturdy base and will absorb movements.
Another way to get smoother shots is by increasing contact points. Place one hand on the side and the other underneath your camera or lens if you are using a DSLR. If you have a strap on your camera, put it around your neck and pull it tight. This grip limits horizontal and vertical shifts.
For smartphone shooters, grip your phone on both ends making sure not to block the lens.
With your legs set, hold the camera with both hands and tuck your elbows into your chest. Holding the camera close to your body limits how much you arms can move, keeping your shots steadier.
When you want to do pans or tilts, move your torso not your legs. Use your hips and slowly pivot your upper body to reduce shake. The slower the movement the smoother it will look.
Also, if you are near a wall or strong surface, lean against it with your elbows tucked or place the camera on the surface to act as a tripod. Just be careful of what is in your shot.
Finally, shoot wide shots. The more zoomed in you are the more shaky your footage will be.
Shooting hand held can be tricky, so take it slow and remember these basic tips to capture more useable footage.
**Note** If you are using a DSLR, use a lens with IS (Image Stabilization).